Races, Faces, and Integrated Spaces

A new study out of Israel suggests that raising children in diverse surroundings can almost completely mitigate own-face racial bias and preference.

         

9 Comments

  1. So there would, in fact, seem to be a way to help avoid raising racist children (or at least severely mitigate one source of racism): raising children in diverse surroundings. That’s what the study recommends, and that’s what us crazy liberals have been recommending on race relations for decades now.

    Plenty of us have lived in “diverse” [sic; racially and otherwise mixed] surroundings for decades now. There is no need that has been unmet here. Nobody needs to be reminded of what we already have long known. Nor does the obvious developmental-environmental-social lesson Discovered Again here justify forcing Arab infants and children and adults into kibbutzim, nor any kind of forced social engineering-style Gunpoint Integration in the USA. Association should be voluntary. Make it coerced and it’s another liberal government and political program that achieves the opposite of what is intended and sought. Forced integration doesn’t even achieve the ideal in the military, where authoritarianism and a specific kind of radical egalitarianism that are not acceptable (to normal people) in civilian US society is second nature.

    Recognition of differences between people is perfectly natural and normal, and is not “racism;” the differences are not “evil” in any way. True racism is something at a higher conceptual level, that is taught. So are tolerance and appreciation to those unused to being around people who are different in some way (racial, cultural, etc.).

  2. “There is no need that has been unmet here.”

    Well, except for the “plenty of us” who haven’t and aren’t being raised in diverse surroundings, no?

    I have to give you credit, DLS, this is the closest I’ve seen to an actual argument (in the C/W/I model) that I’ve seen from you. You’re not there yet (the Arab point is not linked to anything, and you neither explain what makes integration “forced” or why “forced” integration–whatever it does mean–wouldn’t work), but the trendlines are looking good. And indeed, I agree entirely that noticing difference is neither abnormal nor harmful (which is why I am a firm opponent of “color-blindness”). It seems you’re channeling the radical Black lesbian theorist, Audre Lorde:

    [D]ifference must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic. Only then does the necessity for interdependency become unthreatening. Only within that interdependency of different strengths, acknowledged and equal, can the power to seek new ways to actively ‘be’ in the world generate, as well as the courage and sustenance to act where there are not charters.

    Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House,” in Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, eds., This Bridge Called My Back (Watertown, Mass.: Persephone Press, 1981), 99.

  3. David Schraub:

    “There is no need that has been unmet here.”

    Well, except for the “plenty of us” who haven’t and aren’t being raised in diverse surroundings, no?

    There is no need. You are not truthful if you say there is. There may be a want, all right. But the two are not the same. What may be needed is continued vigilance toward racism that still exists, and punishment of it, as well as similar actions toward discrimination. One cannot and should not force the positive, what is right (totalitarians may disapprove, but that’s not evidence of any shortcoming of mine), but address what is wrong.

    As I’ve also said, integration works at later ages as well. As one must be taught racism for it to exist, it is also possible to teach tolerance and acceptance and interest.

    this is the closest I’ve seen to an actual argument (in the C/W/I model) that I’ve seen from you.

    That model is not the only, be-all, end-all definition of an argument and I’m not bound by it. I know the truth I post and have no problem with reasoning (nor distinguishing wants from facts).

    the Arab point is not linked to anything,

    You mean like ending mutual distrust and hatred (in ways worse than our US’s South) between Arabs and Jews, who often are not familiar with each other? That’s the main link, which is sufficient here.

    you neither explain what makes integration “forced” or why “forced” integration–whatever it does mean–wouldn’t work

    Integration need not be forced, but it can be if it is against the will of the participants or is pushed excessively (the word “forced” has more than one meaning here). It won’t work because people will resent having it done to them, obviously. And who will be included as objects of resentment?

    I agree entirely that noticing difference is neither abnormal nor harmful (which is why I am a firm opponent of “color-blindness”)

    Well, color-blindness is neutral, totally objective, and apolitical, and minimally interventionist (the true American way), and doesn’t favor some over others (politics, again), so I am not surprised to learn you oppose it strongly.

    It hardly means a sterile world where individual traits of all kinds, of all people, are ignored or unappreciated.

    and you neither explain what makes integration “forced” or why “forced” integration

  4. “neutral, totally objective, and apolitical,”

    When the subject is moral discourse, there is no such thing as neutral, no such thing as objective, and certainly no such thing as apolitical. Color-blindness is a particular policy, with particular objectives, that secure particular political ends. Color-consciousness, too, is a particular policy, with particular objectives, that secure particular political ends. I’m just willing to admit my side of the matter.

    You want to live in an objective moral world. But you don’t need to. And you can’t, because it doesn’t exist. I’m willing to allow a moment of silence for the concept of objectivity. But after that, you need to grow up. And we’ll be waiting.

  5. Would ‘forced’ integration have greater moral standing if one was using it as such to correct our countries past of institutionalized trend towards segregation?
    Personally, I do not come from a diverse area. Hunterdon county New Jersey is far from diverse, mostly just us middle class white folk, except for a sprinkling of others. Going to university, to say the least, was a bit of a culture shock since, naturally, it’s a more diverse community.
    Now, why are places like suburban/rural Hunterdon county predominantly white? Goes back to the white flight from the cities which supported through the federal subsidization of home loans for whites only. It was written into the policy that African Americans especially just because of their race were likely to be poor, so no loans for them (except in a very few instances). Now would it not behoove our society to correct this great injustice which has led to the de facto segregation of our society?

  6. DLS, I’m generally sympathetic to your point of view that we shouldn’t try an “force the positive” as you say. I mean, we are on a pretty unmistakable course towards racial and genetic homogenization, however slow of a course that may be.

    However I think there is plenty of middle ground to encourage diverse living and actively discourage segregated living, all of which is far far short of ‘forcing’. The choice is still the individuals, but the society does not have an obligation to support all choices equally.

    Also, a minor point:

    As I’ve also said, integration works at later ages as well. As one must be taught racism for it to exist, it is also possible to teach tolerance and acceptance and interest.

    The findings of this research in comparison to past research is pretty conclusive in saying that it works a hell of a lot better on the young than the old.

  7. When the subject is moral discourse, there is no such thing as neutral, no such thing as objective, and certainly no such thing as apolitical.

    No, you see such things (and opportunities) even where they do not exist or are inappropriate.

    You want to live in an objective moral world. But you don’t need to. And you can’t, because it doesn’t exist. I’m willing to allow a moment of silence for the concept of objectivity. But after that, you need to grow up. And we’ll be waiting.

    I am the one who has long grown up already.

  8. Kevin H.:

    DLS, I’m generally sympathetic to your point of view that we shouldn’t try an “force the positive” as you say. I mean, we are on a pretty unmistakable course towards racial and genetic homogenization, however slow of a course that may be.

    It’s faster than the usual complainers say the course is, and in no way resembles the delusional racist “systematic” society that the radical Left claims exists in this country. (That is also true about economic classes and sexes, incidentally.)

    However I think there is plenty of middle ground to encourage diverse living and actively discourage segregated living, all of which is far far short of ‘forcing’. The choice is still the individuals, but the society does not have an obligation to support all choices equally.

    Well, those choices that are illegal and are so because they are bad should remain illegal (true racial discrimination — including reverse racism, or “affirmative action” programs) and where it still happens once in a while, even ads on the airwaves (which still can be encountered) and in newspapers, news Web sites, etc., that state racial discrimination is wrong (and can even interject that racism itself is wrong where it still exists), that seems okay, though if overly pushed reeks itself of “social engineering” and the Nanny State.

    Mentioning racism when discussing slavery prior to the Civil War and then how racism continued through the 1960s is an opportune time in schools to have the kids ask themselves and think about what it means simply to have a different skin color. (I would tell them that the same is true for hair color and eye color; if we had all the same skin color, then hair or eye color would affect us more strongly than they do. Also, there’s probably still a way to show kids the film about the children who were given a quasi-racist exercise, taught that brown-eyed children were different than blue-eyed children, and conflict between the groups resulted. Then when they have seen the film it’s time to revisit racism prior to the next history lesson.)

    Also, a minor point:

    “As I’ve also said, integration works at later ages as well. As one must be taught racism for it to exist, it is also possible to teach tolerance and acceptance and interest.”

    The findings of this research in comparison to past research is pretty conclusive in saying that it works a hell of a lot better on the young than the old.

    Oh, yes. I don’t dispute that at all; the youngest years in fact are the most formative. My point is that people at any age can un-learn what is wrong (and in so doing learn what is right versus what is wrong). It is more effective, but certainly is in no way “required,” to teach children rather than adults.

  9. Ashen Shard:

    Would ‘forced’ integration have greater moral standing if one was using it as such to correct our countries past of institutionalized trend towards segregation?

    1. No. Forced integration is as wrong as forced segregation. The use of force is one reason, as is that it is another example of racial discrimination (for claimed “positive” ends). This is not the same thing as banning discrimination in any school district. That is not wrong. What is wrong is to force someone of race A to go to school X, for any objective, be it good or bad.

    2. Our trend is not institutionalized and it is away from, not toward, segregation, and has been since the 1960s.

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